City of Imagination: Kowloon Walled City
Between the 1950s and 1994, tens of thousands of immigrants constructed a towering community 12 stories high across a 6.4-acre lot in Hong Kong. It was called Kowloon Walled City. With a population of 33,000 squeezed into the tiny lot, the city was 119 times denser at its peak than present-day New York City. Although it faced high levels of crime and poor sanitation, the city was also impressively self-sustainable — until its demolition in 1993.
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The Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong was once the densest place on earth, a virtually lawless labyrinth of crime, grime, commerce and hope. A Wall Street Journal documentary tracks its colorful legacy and brings the place alive 20 years later: